Now in its 19th year, the European Shooting Stars were presented during a festive awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast. Ten prominent young actors from across Europe were chosen by a jury of international industry experts. The promising candidates were nominated by the member organizations of European Film Promotions (EFP). The aim of the EFP is to raise the profile of European film internationally and to offer a platform for promising young talent.
During the first week of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (February 11-21, 2016) the chosen ten talented actresses/actors participated in a full program of interviews and press conferences. They also had the opportunity to meet with different casting directors, producers and agents. This often turns out to be a good chance to enter the international stage. German actor Daniel Brühl (Shooting Star of 2003), who is this year's Shooting Star patron, says, “The Shooting Stars Award put me in the right place at the right time”. He now is a much sought-after actor and can be seen in films like Rush, Captain America : Civil War, Colonia, Inglourius Basterds, Good Bye Lenin, etc.
The five jury members came from Italy, Greece, Germany, Denmark, and Romania. Anamaria Marinca from Romania was herself a Shooting Star in 2008. She comments, “Little did I know how problematic it would be as a jury member to try to select just ten participants from the 24 nominees put forward by the EFP this year. Our final selection reflects the diversity and vitality of European cinema. We are proud to present these emerging artists on a world stage at the Berlinale”.
This year's European Shooting Stars are:
Martha Canga Antonio from Belgium
Thihana Lazoviċ from Croatia
Lou de Laâge from France
Jella Haase from Germany
Daphné Patakia from Greece
Atli Óskar Fjalarsson from Iceland
Sara Serraiocco from Italy
Reinout Scholten van Aschat from The Netherlands
Maria Valverde from Spain
Kacey Mottet Klein from Switzerland
Two of this year's Shooting Stars could also be seen on screen during the Berlinale as their films were shown in the official selection. The young Swiss actor Kacey Mottet Klein stars in Being 17. His other films are Keeper (2015), Sister (2012) and Gainsbourg : A Heroic Life (2010). The jury's comment is: “Although the youngest of this year's Shooting Stars, Kacey is alreay an experienced actor, having made his screen debut at the age of ten. In Keeper he crosses into adulthood, not only portraying a troubled yet tender adolescent, but also showing a firm and very mature command of his craft”.
The Croation actress Tihana Lazovic stars in the political drama On The Other Side screened in the Panorama section of the Berlinale. Her previous films were The High Sun (2015) and Hush (2013). The jury's comment is: “Playing three characters in three different stories of the Balkan conflict, Thihana carries all the emotions of love and hatred in her raw, forceful screen presence. We saw an instinctive, versatile actress who embodied the film's life-affirming humanity”.
To German movie goers the young actress Jella Haase is well known in her role as Chantal in Fack ju Göthe (English title: Suck me Shakespeer). This German comedy opened in 2013 to an unforeseen and totally surprising success. The sequel followed in September 2015 and was seen by 2.115.200 visitors during the first opening weekend. The international box-office takings are 74 million euros up to the end of 2015. This makes it one of the most successful German films. Jella's earlier films also seen by the jury are Four Kings (2015) and Combat Girls (2012). The jury's comment is: “When it comes to playing outspoken, rebellious and slightly trashy characters with a heart of gold, Jella has German audiences at her feet – as witnessed again in Four Kings. Now we can’t wait to see her apply that joyful energy in new, challenging and unexpected ways.”
Among previous years, Shooting Stars who have become internationally famous are Rachel Weisz, Carey Mulligan, Nina Hoss, Mélanie Laurent and Daniel Craig, to mention just a few.